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Island hopping Saint Martin: Saba, St. Eustatius, St Barts & Anguilla

Saint Martin (or Sint Maarten in Dutch) is a Caribbean part of the Netherlands, where the weather is always nice. A wonderful holiday destination, especially during the gloomy winter months.

You can take a direct flight to Saint Martin from all over the world: all direct flights to SXM Saint Martin Airport

Saint Martin is also good for island hopping, did you know that? The islands of St Barts, St Eustatius, Saba and Anguilla are close by and easily accessible by ferry.

Start your trip on Saint Martin

From Europe (Amsterdam or Paris) you fly to Saint Martin in 9 hours. The flight ends spectacularly: low above Maho Beach.

The most important items in your suitcase are a swimsuit, sunglasses and slippers. It should be clear: on Saint Martin you can fully enjoy the Caribbean sun, white sandy beaches and a sparkling blue sea.

Maho Beach Saint Martin
Low flying airplanes landing near Maho Beach on island of St Maarten

But there are more reasons why Saint Martin should be on your travel wish list:

  • The Caribbean friendliness of the islanders
  • Good food! Saint Martin has a fine cuisine with delicious fresh seafood.
  • It’s a great place to go shopping (tax free!).
  • discover 2 worlds on 1 island: the French part is in the north of Sint Maarten: Saint-Martin. You feel like you are in tropical France here
best time to travel
The best time to travel to St Martin is from January to May. This is the driest and sunniest period. In August and September there are regular heavy tropical rain showers and sometimes hurricanes pass through in this rainy season.

Continue your journey through the Dutch Caribbean: St Eustatius and Saba

Of course you want to see them all. Saba and St Eustatius are smaller than St Martin. They are also a lot quieter. These beautiful islands are therefore a fantastic get-a-way during your holiday when you want to escape mass tourism for a few days. You can fly there from Sint Maarten, but traveling by boat is of course the real deal when island hopping.

Saba and St Eustatius are easily accessible by ferry. The Makana ferry sails from Saint Martin to these destinations several times a week. The crossing to Saba takes about 2 hours. And to Sint Eustatius about 3 hours.

Get on the ferry from Saint Martin to Anguilla

The ferry to Anguilla departs from the port of Marigot in the French part of Saint Martin. Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory, so you will go through passport control before boarding the ferry. It is close by and a day trip from Saint Martin to Anguilla is therefore very common.

Enjoy a Rum Punch with your feet in the warm sand: that is Anguilla. The oasis of peace on this island is a relief after the vibrant (night)life on St Martin. Let’s just call it paradise. Anguilla has all the ingredients: a white sandy beach, turquoise sea and swaying palms. You can explore the island with a rental car or you can settle down at a beach bar immediately after arrival (and drink that Rum Punch of course 😉).

A fast ferry takes you from the French (northern) part of Saint Martin to Anguilla in just 25 minutes. A boat departs from the port of Marigot 8 times a day.

And on to St Barts!

Sint-Barthélemy (St. Barth or St. Barts)  is an attractive Caribbean island. It has a fine mix of French elegance and Caribbean charm with a good dose of glamour. The enchantingly beautiful beaches are very popular with celebrities and jetsetters. That means luxury villas, high-end boutiques and chic restaurants; lots of glitz & glamour on St Barts.

With the Great Bay Express ferry you can travel from Philipsburg on St Martin to Gustavia on St Barts in 45 minutes. A ticket for 1 passenger one way costs around 60 euros (reference date: September 2023). This route is the shortest. There are two other ferry routes. For more details, see our St Barts information page.
Snorkeling Caribbean

Day trip: snorkeling at the islands of Pinel and Tintamarre

Would you rather go island hopping for one day? There are two gems waiting for you off the coast of Saint Martin: Îlet de Pinel and Tintamarre. Pinel has some amenities. You can have a nice bite to eat in a restaurant and rent a beach chair for a day. Open your book and relax on the white sandy beach, among the lounging iguanas😉. A dip in the sea might lead you to an encounter with a sea turtle. Tintamarre, even more beautiful, is located a little further from the coast and is uninhabited. It has no facilities, so bring your own food and drinks. It is a popular place for sailors to anchor and admire the underwater world.

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1 Comment
  1. The image here of the low flying plane is insane, however I would be petrified of it coming too low! Looks a fantastic destination though!

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